Van Cortlandt Park
The Daily Plant : Monday, February 12, 2001
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF PARKS ANNUAL AWARDS!
Christopher P. (Boswell Croswell) Osgood, Rookie of the Year: BC became a Parkie on July 15, 1999, and started as an assistant in StarQuest's office. BC brought calm and good cheer to the busy and hectic Octagonal Office. He attended and helped coordinate meetings and special events, and followed up on a myriad of citywide issues, large and small. He was also Keeper of the Nom. In December, 2000 BC was promoted to Chief of Staff, joining a distinguished group of NorthStar, Igor, Wellspring and Maverick. Currently, BC is a leader in our plans to install 2,001 Historical Signs citywide. He also helps plan major special events and monitor critical planning projects. Most importantly, BC is a liaison to all divisions at Parks, from legal to marketing, to operations and the Urban Park Service. BC is also Parks liaison to Cobra's office. He is always there to explain Parks needs, push initiatives, solve problems and develop staff. Hardworking, sharp and fun, BC is a great addition to the Parks family. BC lives in Manhattan.
Fernando (Repoman) Garcia, Employee of the Year: Repoman began with Parks on May 1, 1975 at the age of 18. His first job was at Thomas Jefferson Park where he performed maintenance and light painting. Repoman later joined a technical services crew and got his Filter Plant Operator's (FPO) certificate. He took the APSW civil service test in 1983 and was promoted from the list in 1985 when he began his career at 5-Boro. Repoman began as a driver for the garage during which he earned his class A CDL license, tow truck endorsement, and burner's permit. Repoman was moved to the Vehicle Compound where he has inspected hundreds of new vehicles for compliance with specifications, and prepared and transported our veteran vehicles for their final journeys - to DCAS salvage at Brooklyn Navy Yard. In the compound, Repoman became an expert on operating all parts of our fleet from packers to container trucks to light towers and tow trucks. He has also not been in an accident in 5 years. In 2000, Repoman helped train hundreds of other drivers citywide as part of our equipment training initiative. He has recently moved to the 5-Boro Shop Floor as Supervisor of Garage Operations, where he has accepted the challenge of improving responsiveness, shop conditions, and vehicle out of service for our largest repair facility. No-nonsense and hard-working, Repoman is a career Parkie who has risen up the ranks, learning new skills, and helping to fuel the engine of Parks operations. He is a role model and terrific asset.
Lee T. (General) Henry, Manager of the Year: General began with Parks on June 27, 1983 as a summer seasonal at Lost Battalion Hall, Queens. He started his full time Parks career as a Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officer at North Meadow in Central Park. After a tour writing summons and enforcing Park rules, General was promoted to Sergeant. He joined Parks Special Events in the Arsenal where he helped coordinate the NYC Marathon, Easter Eggstravaganza and the Pope's visit to Central Park. In February 1996, General was promoted again to Manhattan operations where he is the Parks Manager for Districts 9 and 10. These include Morningside, St. Nicholas, and Jackie Robinson Parks, as well as the Broadway Malls from 110th to 155th Streets and the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Malls from 110th to 152nd Streets. Under General's leadership, overall condition ratings for these sites have improved 60%, from the mid 40s to the high 70s. General has also expanded our Partnerships efforts. He organized with volunteers the Historic Harlem Concert Series in summer 1998, and has worked with the Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) to restore Jackie Robinson Park. He also works closely with Friends of Morningside Park. General is playing a lead role in expanding horticulture and landscape restoration in Manhattan. General also runs Manhattan's floodlight program, borough night security, and this summer will manage the pools. Well-respected inside and outside Parks, General is a capable, strong and cheerful Parks manager and leader.
Kim (Gazelle) McNeal, Davis Award Winner: Gazelle began with Parks as a seasonal CPW in 1976 at Orchard Beach and Van Cortlandt Park. On April 18, 1983 she became a full time Urban Park Ranger. Gazelle left Parks on maternity leave in 1989 when she had her son Rashaad. Gazelle returned to us in 1991 joining Central Communications where she was promoted to supervisor. For four years, Gazelle helped keep us in touch, answering public inquiries and responding to Parks emergencies. In 1995, Gazelle changed paths and joined Bronx Recreation, helping to coordinate borough special events. She soon moved to St. Mary's Recreation Center, one of Parks largest centers, as a program director and was promoted to Deputy Center Manager. At St. Mary's, Gazelle established a new playschool program serving over 50 children, and expanded aerobics classes. She also revitalized the senior programming there, which is now serving over 40 new members daily, and helped St. Mary's achieve high scores on OMP's Recreation Scorecard. In June 2000, Gazelle took on a new challenge as Center Manager at St. James Center which has 800 active members. Gazelle supervises more than 13 staff and directs all aspects of recreation programming, maintenance and center development. Gazelle has distinguished herself as a strong and creative administrator. She began a partnership with Fordham students to expand services, and and has improved senior programs at St. James. Professional and friendly, Gazelle is a friend to young and old, and we are proud she is a Parkie.
Karen (Atlanta) Mauney-Brodek, Commissioner's Award Winner: On June 8, 1998 Atlanta began as an Assistant to Wildcat, replacing Tigress who had moved to 5-Boro. She helped improve our construction project tracking systems and assisted with special projects. In August 1999, Atlanta assumed responsibility for our critical $18 million per year M&O requirements contracts program. Through requirements contracts, Parks performs needed repairs to park sites that we could not achieve with in-house forces. These repairs include thousands of benches, fences, sidewalks, and play equipment pieces. Requirements contracts are a major reason that overall park ratings have improved from the mid 30% range in 1994 to the high 80% range today. Atlanta has brought new organization, energy, communication, and innovation to this program started by Northside. Atlanta manages over 25 staff including construction supervisors and designers, and has helped complete over 300 projects citywide. She is playing a critical role in our goal of completing 2,001 Greenstreets by 2001, and is working to better incorporate maintenance concerns into technical capital designs. Most importantly, she is also ensuring that capital projects are completed on time. Talented, hardworking and smart, Atlanta has quickly assumed one of the key positions at Capital. Atlanta lives in Brooklyn.
By Keith (Kermit) Kerman
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, February 22, 1988)
STATEN ISLAND PEPs APPREHEND DUCK ASSAILANTS
Two Brooklyn men accused of shooting ducks with a slingshot were arrested in Clove Lakes Park on Wednesday, February 17, thanks to the valiant efforts of Staten Island Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) Officers Anthony Rios and Paul Schumann, and Park Supervisor (PS) Robert Reeves.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic-in short the closest thing to a genuine panacea-known to medical science is work."
Thomas Szasz (b. 1920)
Directions to Van Cortlandt Park
- NYC PARKS REVEALS PARKS WITHOUT BORDERS EIGHT SHOWCASE PARKS
- This Weekend In Parks
- Green Youth Assist Management Of Van Cortlandt Park: Collecting And Anazlyzing Critical Data
- Van Cortlandt Track Club
- Van Cortlandt Track Club
- New Year's Day Hike (Light)
- Nature's Workshop: Natural Dyes and Colors
- Survival Series #1: Fire Making Skills
- Barbecuing Areas
- Baseball Fields
- Basketball Courts
- Bicycling and Greenways
- Bocce Courts
- Cricket Fields
- Dog-friendly Areas
- Fitness Equipment
- Football Fields
- Golf Courses
- Great Trees
- Handball Courts
- Hiking Trails
- Historic Houses
- Horseback Riding Trails
- Nature Centers
- Outdoor Pools
- Running Tracks
- Soccer Fields
- Spray Showers
- Tennis Courts
- Wi-Fi Hot Spots